DOH warns public to be alert for common summer ailments

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The Department of Health (DOH) has urged the public to be wary of six common diseases during summer.
“We take the acronym ‘6S’ for common summer diseases,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said.

The six common ailments are “sore eyes” (conjunctivitis), sunburn, sipon at ubo (colds and cough), suka at tae (vomiting and diarrhea), sakit sa balat (skin disease), and sakmal ng aso (dog bite).

First, conjunctivitis or sore eyes may lead to blindness when ignored. It is best to seek a doctor immediately and before using eye drops, Ubial said.

“Sore eyes can easily develop due to harmful bacteria or viruses that easily transfer from one person to another,” explained Ubial.


Thorough hand washing is an effective way to prevent its spread.

Second, the DOH warned the public on the exposure from harmful high levels of UVA and UVB rays.

This can be prevented from minimizing sun exposure from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon, “these are peak temperature hours,” said Ubial.

Also, apply sunblock with SPF30 at least 30 minutes before going outside.

Third, high-risk groups such as senior citizens are encouraged to get flu vaccines to avoid getting cough and colds.

They should get their shots “before the onset of the flu season, usually in June,” said Ubial.

Fourth, people should also be cautious in their food and drinks to prevent loose bowel movement and vomiting.

Always have an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) in case of diarrhea and go to the nearest health center to avoid severe dehydration, the health chief recommended.

“To prevent complications, it is very important to hydrate. Drink clean water. Drink even if you are not thirsty,” Ubial explained.

Fifth, swimming is “in” this summer but pools may be sources of skin diseases like boils, she said.
Rinsing before and after swimming is a must to avoid it.

Skin diseases are also common in prisons that are crowded and have water shortages.

“Prison inmates usually suffer from boils due to heat and overcrowding,” said Ubial.

Finally, the health secretary warned of the danger of contracting rabies from dog bites.

“Pet dogs should be given vaccination against rabies,” said Ubial.

If scratched or bitten by a dog, one should immediately wash the wound with soap and water, then go to the nearest animal bite center to get an anti-rabies vaccine, she added.

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